The foster care system is one of the most complex and misunderstood. The system’s primary role is to provide temporary homes to kids due to neglect or abuse in their own homes. Out-of-home care typically aims to provide a safer, more stable, nurturing environment for the children.
Below are seven common misconceptions about foster care.
Children in foster care have experienced a form of abuse
More than 50% of children are moved to foster arrangements due to neglect. While it’s true sexual and physical abuse are factors in some cases, not all kids are victims. Though conscious neglect can be viewed as a form of abuse, some minors are placed in the system due to issues that were out of their biological parents’ control. Those issues include broader systematic problems like incarceration and drug abuse.
Nonetheless, both victims and non-victims need support and compassion from loving homes on their journeys to recovery.
Foster care is financially strenuous
As widely misconceived, foster parenting isn’t an overwhelming financial burden. Foster guardians receive monthly allowances for the children’s basic needs, like food and clothing. Extra costs are certainly bound to arise, but the monthly stipend typically caters to the child’s necessities.
Anyone in a reliable financial position and can comfortably take care of their household is financially capable of caring for a foster child.
Children in foster care are troublesome
One of the most popular misconceptions about foster children is that they are part of the system due to their own inadequate actions. Many assume they are violent, aggressive, badly behaved, or are juvenile delinquents. That is untrue.
Most of these juveniles haven’t had normal, safe, and stable homes like regular children should. As a result, they are traumatized and need support to recover. Children react differently to trauma; some may be aggressive, others calm or withdrawn. However, they are not always poorly behaved in any form, as many might think.
Most of them end up well-adjusted with no behavioral problems.
All children in foster care are awaiting adoption
People tend to think that every kid in foster care is awaiting adoption. Firstly, not all children under the care are eligible for adoption. Only less than 25% await adoption eventually.
Most of the kids have an action plan that involves reuniting them with their birth families. The children’s parents in foster care, in most cases, don’t adopt them. The parents are always made to understand their purpose in the temporary, compassionate care beforehand.
The parents of kids in foster care are always villains
Foster kids’ biological parents aren’t always at some legal fault for the placement to happen. The parents may be facing hardships like loss of jobs and homes and have to give up the child’s care while they sort the situation. Sometimes children are in care for a brief period before they are reunited with their birth parents.
Foster parenting is financially lucrative
While it’s true most foster parents get a monthly stipend from the government, it is barely enough to raise a child. The payment aims at covering the child’s basic needs and other necessities. In fact, most foster parents incur considerable added costs in efforts to give the children a comfortable childhood.
Anyone can be a foster parent
Many people assume all it takes to be a foster parent is having a clean criminal record or being financially stable. However, it takes a thorough process of background checks, home examination, and significant training before one is qualified to be a foster parent.
Foster care is a complex system not easily understood by most people. The above discussion has shed light on some misconceptions surrounding foster care, and hopefully, it gives a better understanding of the arrangement.